Tom Guilfoy Memorial Craftsmanship Award

Created in 2004, this annual award was in memory of Tom Guilfoy, owner of 100 year old Guilfoy Cornice Works in San Francisco. This award is for any project where attention to detail and expertise was critical to the project and exemplifies teamwork between sheet metal workers and the contractor and the contractor and owner.

This award is presented annually for any type of work in the HVAC, Specialty, Industrial, Kitchen or Architectural fields. Projects entered will be judged on the skill and expertise exhibited to complete the project, regardless of how big or small. There are two main categories – mechanical and architectural, along with a creative concepts category to recognize exceptional projects falling outside of the mechanical and architectural categories.

2021 Guilfoy Award Submissions for Projects Completed in 2020

2021 Winner – Architectural Category

The 2021 Tom Guilfoy Memorial Award for Craftsmanship of the Year in the Architectural category was awarded to California Sheet Metal of El Cajon for the Seritage at UTC project located in San Diego, California.

The owner and architect had an idea and concept of an architectural element that would be the focus of the building. The concept was a multifaceted feature that had progressive angles that changed throughout the entire element. The first hurdle was to create a mockup to communicate our interpretation of their concept.  Once the miniature mockup was successful, we had to develop this intricate pattern throughout the entire 600 lineal feet of architectural element. As the element grew in height each row had progressive angle changes and had to be accounted for in all of the aluminum tube pieces to have exact angles cut and assembled in larger units for installation. Fabrication required trial and error to line up the progressive panels and one our most experienced shop sheet metal workers was able to train an apprentice in the geometry required to make parts line up correctly. There were 1,000 custom attachment clips and aluminum tube sections that had to be cut in multiple different angles to accomplish the geometry and precision attachment points to the perimeter frames.

A requirement of the design was to have hidden attachment clips and hidden fasteners and to assemble this element to be structurally sound to hang off the building with only two attachment points. Handling with care was also critical during assembly as the units had a custom pewter metallic finish that was very vulnerable to scratches. For the installation we had to work closely with the structural steel contractor to coordinate the precise attachment points to match each of the unitized section vertical attachments.  This was accomplished by having multiple on-site coordination sessions with the structural steel sub as it was critical to have correct alignment as the larger sections were lifted in place with a crane in a very efficient manner to maintain the original budget.

Number of Man Hours Spent: 19,500

2021 Winner – Creative Concept Category

The 2021 Tom Guilfoy Memorial Award for Craftsmanship of the Year in the Creative Concept category was awarded to Therma of San Jose for the Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 104 Livermore Hall project located in Livermore, California.

This project consisted of three (3) buildings that will serve as administrative offices and union hall. Each building contains various architectural and sheet metal elements – wall panels, stair panels & railings, that were designed & fabricated in-house.  Covering 2,700 square feet, the star of this project is the 18-guage steel panel skin system.  Our team was able to dream up a custom bluing patina finished with a laser-etched design that honors pretechnological sheet metal patterns and processes.

In one building, 18-guage black iron panels were used with a chemical bluing finish then clear coated.  Panel layout was completed in the field, notching around wall penetrations.  Panel design was then input into CAD along with old sheet metal hand layout patterns to be etched on the panel surface.  Panels were fabricated in the shop, a chemical bluing finish was applied, layout patterns were traced over with silver pain and sent off to be clear coated.  Tube steel framing was erected where needed for the lobby walls.  Brake shaped panels were installed at the walls with exposed low-profile fasteners in the recessed reveals/joints at the walls.  Flat panels were installed over the tub steel framing with hairline joints using VHB tape and sealant creating a monolithic blued steel skin/wall.

In another building, 18-guage black iron panels were used with a chemical bluing finish then clear coated along with various tube steel members.  Existing stair railings and upper-level guard rail were removed by the GC leaving only the stringers.  Measurements for each stringer section and guard rail were taken for a design build tube steel frame and stainless steel handrail.  A 3D CAD model was built and all parts were laser cut then welded and assembled into sections for bolt up to the stringers.  A chemical bluing process was applied to the frame top rail and then clear coated.  Once the railing was installed, panel measurements were taken and fabricated.  Flat panels were installed over the tube steel framing with hairline joints using VHB tape and sealant creating a monolithic blued steel skin encompassing the entire staircase and upper-level guardrail. The stainless steel handrail was fabricated and bolted up to the tabs on the railing frame.

In another building, 0.040” brass panels were used with a custom patina design then clear coated.  Panel layout was completed in the field, input into CAD for laser cutting then fabrication.  The patina pattern was applied by hand over the field of panels then sent off to be clear coated.  Brake shaped panels were installed with exposed low-profile fasteners in the recessed reveals/joints.


Number of Man Hours Spent: 2,000


Past recipients of this award include:

2020          Architectural – California Sheet Metal – UTC Residential Tower, San Diego, CA
                  Mechanical – Southland Industries, Inc. – Gilead NB324, Foster City, CA

2019          Architectural –CMF, Inc.– Cal Poly Pomona Student Services Building, Pomona, CA
                  Mechanical – Southland Industries, Inc.– Sutter Health CPMC Van Ness Campus Hospital, San Francisco, CA

2018            Architectural –CMF, Inc.– Apple Park, Cupertino, CA
                    Mechanical – ACCO Engineered Systems– USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, Los Angeles, CA

2017            Architectural –California Sheet Metal– Eli Lilly at Campus Pointe, San Diego, CA
                    Mechanical – University Mechanical & Engineering Contractors– UC San Diego, Jacobs Medical Center, La Jolla, CA

2016            Architectural –G.E.S. Sheet Metal– IAC Building, West Hollywood, CA
                    Mechanical – Control Air North, Inc.– Samsung American Headquarters, San Jose, CA

2015            ACCO Engineered Systems– Levi Stadium Home of the San Francisco 49ers, Santa Clara, CA

2014            Architectural –California Sheet Metal– San Diego Central New Library, San Diego, CA
                    Mechanical – Control Air North, Inc.– Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, Oakland, CA

2013            Architectural –Air Systems of Sacramento– William Jessup University Expansion, Rocklin, CA
                    Mechanical – ACCO Engineered Systems– Cedars Sinai Advanced Health Science Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA

2012            Architectural –Brady Air Conditioning, Inc.– 1905 Samuel Murphy Windmill Restoration Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
                    Mechanical– Control Air North, Inc.– Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences at UC Berkley, Berkley, CA                   

2011             Architectural –CMF, Inc.– Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
                     Mechanical – Key Air Conditioning, Inc.– Tom Bradley International Interior Improvement, Los Angeles, CA

2010            Architectural –Air Systems, Inc.– Target Store, Sunnyvale, CA
                    Mechanical – Marelich Mechanical, Inc.– GLAVC Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles, CA

2009            CMF, Inc.– Los Angeles High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts, Central Los Angeles, CA

2008            Control Air North, Inc.– California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

2007            Air Systems Inc.– Harborwalk Condominiums, Oakland, CA

2006            Weiss Sheet Metal Company– Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA

2005            Custom Metal Fabricators, Inc.– Millennium Park BP Pedestrian Bridge, Chicago, IL